Fish fits well in a healthy diet since it replaces red meat, which has a heavy load of saturated fat. But fish may go farther than that. A certain type of fat in fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) may actually be good for the heart.
Researchers began to explore the possible cardiovascular benefits of fish oil some 20 years ago when they first noted that Greenland Eskimos rarely developed coronary heart disease.
Heredity does not account for this - Eskimos who migrate to other countries eventually assume the same coronary risk as their new compatriots. One study, for example, demonstrated that Eskimos who move to Denmark develop coronary disease at the same rate as Danes - more than 10 times the rate of Eskimos in Greenland.
Instead, the explanation appears to lie in the native diet: Eskimos typically consume just as much fat as Danes do, but in Greenland that fat comes entirely from the sea. In Denmark, on the other hand, dietary fat comes primarily from land animals, much as it does in the U.S.
Will taking fish oil lower my cardiovascular risks?
Will fish oils have a beneficial effect on my triglyceride levels?
Is it safe to take fish oil supplements?
Could fish oils create a bleeding problem if I am cut or injured, or if I need surgery?
Will taking fish oil increase my risk of stroke?
What is the recommended dosage?
What are the possible side effects?
Is there a possibility of a vitamin E deficiency?